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Conditions

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks on the stomach

There are many causes of stretch marks, such as rapid weight gain, but they are mainly recognised as the battle scars of pregnancy, with between 75% and 90% of women developing stretch marks during this time. Stretch marks after pregnancy are the bane of most women’s lives. Because whilst men might think that their partner’s scarred stomach is a tapestry upon which the beautiful experience of childbirth has been embroidered; women will be ruing the fact that they’ve had to mothball their skimpy, summer two-piece. Stretch marks aren’t necessarily uncomfortable, but the affected areas can occasionally be itchy and sensitive. However, there are a number of creams and lotions available that, if used daily, can help to keep the skin supple, while the action of rubbing in the cream can encourage better circulation. Laser treatment can also help to fade the marks, but this isn’t available on the NHS and can be expensive.

If your child has stretch marks and you would like more information, check the guide for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

i am so sick of my stretch marks i am 23 never had a baby and size 10. I have gave all the creams a go, but nothing helps. I am going on holiday in 3 weeks. The thought of putting on a bikini Keeps sending me in to panic attacks. Really can't cope anymore. I have started self harming. What a few more scars anyway. I hate myself. I just wish i could afford to get surgery to remove them.





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Please do not harm yourself. You are not alone. There are so many women that struggle with stretch marks. They do not make you a bad person or define you. Learn to love yourself and show off your good qualities. Some women can't even wear a bikini so that's already one positive thing. Have fun on holiday and don't let stretch marks ruin it for you. Its not worth it.

Hi. I'm a 17 year old girl and I have stretch marks all over my stomach,the sides,my arms, etc. I would love to know how to get rid of them to feel more comfortable in my skin. Asap. Thanks.





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Im 25 years old and since I was sixteen ive had big boobs but now they sag more than ever and its embarrassing. Ive been to the gym to work on my muscles in my boobs to tone them may become firmer but no change, I haven't done nothing about it simply because it is a confidence issue i struggle with. I cant wear strapless bras or dresses I have to wear a sports bra over the top of my normal bra to hold them up. i find it extremely difficult sleeping at night and even every day moves, have to sleep on my side or back cannot sleep on my front because the pain and pressure, even getting out of the shower I have to quickly put a bra on right away because the pain I suffer from the weight of my boobs left with no support. at 25 I feel I shouldn't have to go threw this agony and need help.





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Hi there, I am 18 years old and a size 12/14 in clothes a normal size I would say, during my life my weights been up and down but recently I haven't gained or lost anything but seem to be stretch marks appearing extremely dark and all over my stomach, sides and under my breasts I actually feel physically sick and disgusting when I look at myself in the mirror, I hate myself and feel horrible. I just don't know what to do and why I have them





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Hiya I don't know if this is normal but I have recently gained weight and I've noticed a stretch mark which I think thats what it is starting just about my vagina and going about a centimetre down, it feels like a scar but almost like a stretch mark, I don't know whether to be concerned or not, very greatful if someone can get back to me as I am worried! Thanks 😊





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Hello, I am - 24 year-old female. I have been getting stretch marks in the years after my 17th birthday. The stretch marks are not red but they are white, lighter than my skin and visible. I have them On my upper thighs, behind my knees, on my bottom and on my breasts. I do not know what is causing this. I hate looking at my body in the mirror as it makes me very sad. I feel very insecure, and I feel Like I cannot show my whole body to a recent boyfriend, when he asks I tend to cover those areas to make sure he doesn't see them. I fear he may leave me because of them. Help. What can I do to stop the from spreading so much?





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Thanks for the help





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hi, im nearly 14 and i have strech marks on the whole side of my butt and the cleavage area of my boobs, im not fat (bang on healthy weight) some poeple would say i am thin i know i do not eat well and gained a bit of weight 6 months ago. my sister is the same size as me (we are twins) but she doesnt have any why me?





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During my first pregnancy I started to get thread veins on the back of my left leg behind the knee. On my second pregnancy it started to expand a bit more, but now I have got it at the back of my right leg and spreading they look really bad. I has spoken with my GP about them he said that they will not do it on the nhs but I could have it done privately but I am not able to afford it. Have you any suggestions.





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HI,im 19, male and I generally live a healthy lifestyle, eat well, I have a good weight, not over weight or under wieght havnt lost or gained, same with muscle mass doesnt change, but I have started to get strech marks on my arms, they all seen to come from one point and they are gradually getting worse. I dont really know why or what could be wrong, its not to bad I dont mind the marks but the are very red and sore and hurt to be touched so I dont really what to make of them.





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Stretch marks are narrow, streak-like lines that can develop on the surface of the skin. They're also sometimes known as stria or striae. Stretch marks are often red or purple at first, before gradually fading to a silvery-white colour. Read More »

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